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Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.
While the main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.
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Quilted Wall Hangings
Since November 2004, MDS house dedications include the gift of a quilted wall hanging to the new homeowners. The wall hangings are made and donated through the Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Women's group. If you are a quilter and would like more information on this program, e-mail MDS at communications(at)mds.mennonite.net.
Agatha puts on the finishing touches at the project in Bastrop, TX.
Stan is making sure things will line up while working at the project in Joplin, MO.
The Millersville University group helped clean up after the storm hit Jasper.
An MDS volunteer removes drywall from a basement in Staten Island, NY. -photo courtesy of Emily Ralph, Franconia Mennonite Conference.
Personal belongings, now garbage, are piled on the side of the road in Staten Island, NY, after Hurricane Sandy. -photo by E. Ralph, courtesy of Franconia Mennonite Conf.
Verna and Alvin cut drywall for the staircase at the project in Braithwaite, LA.
The walls are studded at Mr. Ben and Mrs. Judy's house in West Liberty, KY.
Project Director, Phil, gives a quilt to Miss Joan. MDS repaired her NY home after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Betty putting up siding at the project in Cordova, AL.
Short-term volunteer, Tyler, from Eastern Mennonite University, mudding in a home in Far Rockaway, NY.
Client, Mr. Keith, shows Project Director, Harold Friesen, the water line on his house from Hurricane Sandy.
Uncle-nephew team, Keith Wagler and Brett Fournier, finish the floor in Ms. Janet's house. Passing the service tradition on to the next generation.
Esther and Bill McCoy sit with Mr. Jessie on his new front porch in Birmingham, AL. Jesse's house was the last home built by MDS in Birmingham after the 2011 tornados.
Almost exactly two years after tornados devastated parts of the south, MDS celebrated a final home dedication in Walker Co., AL. To many outside of Walker Co., the tornados are a distant memory at best. But many residents are still working to put the storm behind them.
On April 27, 2011, Alabama residents experienced one of the worst tornado outbreaks ever. Over 60 tornados were reported on that day across the state and 243 people lost their lives. More than 13,000 homes were destroyed or heavily damaged across Alabama. Cordova, Birmingham and surrounding areas took a direct hit.
Jessie Williams’ home was destroyed by the tornado. Now, thanks to the Walker Co. Long Term Recovery Committee, Mennonite Disaster Service and World Renew, and many faithful volunteers, Williams has a place to call home again.
The week before the dedication was filled with volunteers feverishly finishing the last-minute painting touch-ups, cleaning and final electrical work. Some volunteers took an interest in making sure the house felt like a “home”, buying plants and household items with their own funds.
MDS Executive Director, Kevin King, was also in attendance at the ceremony, along with volunteers, friends, family and representatives from Walker Co. Long Term Recovery Committee and World Renew.
Commenting on the relationships formed between the partner agencies and the homeowners, King noted “Disasters have a way of bringing people together. We came as strangers, but we know that we leave as friends.”
In the two years that MDS has been responding in Walker Co., 1,589 volunteers worked 11,586 days on 292 cleanups, 82 minor repairs, 12 major repairs and 4 complete new builds.
MDS accepts monetary donations to support the clean up work in all areas affected by Hurricane Sandy in the US. MDS does not accept donations of food and other items.
Monetary donations can be made on the MDS website, mds.mennonite.net, in the US by phone (717) 735-3536, or by mailing a check to MDS, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543. In Canada, call (866) 261-1274 or mail cheques to MDS, 6A-1325 Markham Rd Winnipeg, MB R3T 4J6 CANADA. To designate the donation for Hurricane Sandy, write "Hurricane Sandy" in the memo line of the check.
MDS responds to disasters in Canada, the United States and their territories. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) responds to disasters in international settings. MCC is responding to the damage from Hurricane Sandy in Haiti. For information on MCC’s work in Haiti, check their website, mcc.org.
MDS featured on NBC Nightly News
MDS was featured on the NBC Nightly News on March 29, 2011. To see the story that features our Diamond, La. project, click on the link below:
MDS volunteers are known for repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by disasters. But it takes more than construction skills to serve with MDS. During the time that you serve as a volunteer, you will learn that MDS also restores lives.
Your contribution will help to connect volunteers with disaster survivors who need assistance on their path to recovery. MDS depends on the support of people who believe that disaster response is an important part of helping those who are in need.
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Mennonite Disaster Service project locations are the physical response centers established by MDS in a disaster-affected community. In addition to housing the local MDS office, the projects function as base camps for MDS volunteers who need a place to eat and sleep while they serve. This section of the MDS website contains updated information about current MDS projects.
Project maps best viewed with Microsoft Explorer.